We celebrate World Architecture Day with some of Spain’s most representative buildings in terms of their design and significance.

From Mallorca to Madrid, passing through Seville, Santiago and Valencia. Spain is full of architectural jewels that with their different styles have made their cities into places of interest for people from all over the world.

In this post we take a closer look at some of these buildings to analyse their architecture, and to find out about their significance and most characteristic details.

  • La Muralla Roja, Calpe

Previously the focus of tourists’ analogue cameras, now it has become a big hit with Instagram users. La Muralla Roja is inspired by the Mediterranean Arab architecture found in Calpe, and its design is the result of the inspiration its creator found in the tradition of the kasbah. Its brilliant and striking colour was chosen to contrast with nature while at the same time complementing its essence.

This project, approved in 1968 and created by Ricardo Bofill in 1973, comprises 50 apartments, courtyards and terraces with sea views distributed over a harmonious but at the same time labyrinthine space.

An anecdote about this building? This kasbah-like construction with a Mediterranean air is not a monument or a building designed for tourists but rather a home for dozens of people who find it strange and also unsettling that thousands of tourists come to photograph their home.

  • ABC Museum, Madrid

Created as a private and business initiative, the ABC Museum houses and publicises the ABC Collection. Inaugurated at the end of 2010, its designer José López Salaberry, translated his style, closely associated with the development of the new town planning of Madrid, to a modern and attractive building.

The building not only stands out for its contemporary aspect, but also because of its history, as in 1891 it became the first Mahou brewery in Madrid. Salaberry, already well known in Madrid for having moved the La Cibeles fountain and collaborating on the design of the Gran Vía, adapted this large surface area of over 3,800 m2 to the artistic requirements of this new centre.

La Fundación Colección ABC also commissioned the architects Aranguren & Gallegos to breathe new life into this artistic space, that integrates in a contemporary fashion with the historical roots of the city via its innovative lines and multi-functional spaces.

  • Metropol Parasol, Seville

The name might not ring any bells, but if we tell you that this building, indispensable on World Architecture Day, is known as “The Mushrooms of Seville”, you are sure to picture this immense building 150 metres in length and over 26 metres in height.

The architect in charge of this project was Jürgen Mayer, who created an avant-garde building for tourism and commercial use that has become a symbolic reference point for the historical city centre of Seville.

  • The Santa Catalina market, Barcelona

This market, built between 1844 and 1848 on the grounds of the former Santa Catalina convent, is the most famous and well-known market in Barcelona. The rear facade was restyled in 2005, but the most striking aspect of the building is the roof. Built out of curved shapes, it is decorated with a mosaic of circles made out of coloured hexagons. This striking roof is the result of the renovation carried out in the 21st century and its wavy lines create parabolic arches at various points.

Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliablue, architects of EMBT, were responsible for this ambitious project that not only focused on the building’s renovation and conservation but also involved a colourful design made out of classic materials like glass and wood.

The Gaudi-inspired roof has 325,000 pieces that reproduce the colours of the fruit and vegetables sold in the city’s squares.

Virtual tours are available on the website: https://mercatsantacaterina.com/visita-virtual/

  • Palacio de las Artes, Valencia

Emotion, architecture and nature are brought together in the Palacio de las Artes in Valencia. Since its creation ‘Les Arts’ has become a benchmark architectural complex in Valencia. The various structures that comprise the Palacio complete the City of Arts and Sciences, a wonder designed by Santiago Calatrava in an avant-garde and contemporary style that has become a landmark feature not only because of its architectural value but also due to its symbolic value.

The Palacio de las Artes has cantilevered platforms at various heights, panoramic lifts and stairs and casings made out of steel sheeting that contrast with the transparency of its glass spaces, resulting in a mixture of sensations when moving around its interior and exterior.

Its roof, also known as “the feather” has become its most notable feature, being 230 metres long and 70 metres high. The material that has been most used in its construction is white concrete, that comprises the building’s large structural supports.

Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, the Museo del Mar in Galicia or las Torres Blancas in Madrid are just some of the dozens of architectural works that we could add to our collection of buildings with which to celebrate World Architecture Day.

Photos taken from the official websites of the buildings mentioned

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